Although the nature of his injury remains a complete mystery, Vegas Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch is headed to the injured reserve. The team announced this evening that the young power forward has been placed on IR, but did not add any further detail to the release. Tuch’s unavailability paired with the recent demotions of Daniel Carr and Curtis McKenzie leaves the Knights with just twelve healthy forwards and an open roster spot heading into their opener, indicating that the team will soon name a replacement to the roster, likely a recall from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Meanwhile, Tuch is eligible to return on October 8th, when Vegas travels to his hometown Buffalo Sabres. The Golden Knights will try to get Tuch back to full strength as soon as possible, as the 22-year-old recorded 37 points in his first full NHL season last year and appears primed for a breakout campaign in 2018-19.
- The Dallas Stars clarified the status of defenseman Stephen Johns today, while also shedding light on their recent acquisition of fellow right-handed defenseman Connor Carrick. Sportsday’s Matthew DeFranks writes that Johns has been dealing with post-traumatic headaches over the past few weeks and the condition has landed him on the injured reserve. While head coach Jim Montgomery indicated that Johns could return to practice as soon as Wednesday – he has only practiced once since September 16th – but there is no timeline for his return to game action. The team will likely take it slow while Johns works through a sensitive diagnosis and in the meantime Carrick can help to pick up the slack. Johns was one of Dallas’ more consistent blue liners last season and the team will welcome him back when he is ready to go. Outside of Johns and forward Valeri Nichushkin, out day-to-day with a lower body injury, the Stars have had good luck with injuries in camp and enter the regular season with a solid depth chart of healthy players.
- Last week, we noted that the Arizona Coyotes had reached the maximum of 50 contracts for the organization and had technically exceeded the limit with entry-level contracts for Barrett Hayton and Pierre-Olivier Joseph. However, the two youngsters were expected to be returned to juniors which would discount their contracts against the limit. While Joseph has returned to the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders, Hayton has in fact been officially named to the opening night roster, the team announced. How does such a move work? Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Hayton will not count against the contract limit until he has played in the minimum ten games for his contract to toll. As such, Hayton’s stay in the desert could be predetermined to just a short nine-game stint. However, if he wins a long-term spot on the roster, the Coyotes will be pressed to trade away one or more players under contract to make space. Why give Hayton this chance considering their roster inflexibility? Arizona is currently dealing with a laundry list of injuries, with Alex Galchenyuk, Christian Dvorak, and Josh Archibald on injured reserve and Nick Merkley additionally sidelined. The recent first-round pick may present the best opportunity in the system to make up for these losses.